Re: ST:TMP Technical Details
^^^ There was also the recent development and deployment of the space shuttle fleet at the time. I remember that Trumble or some others who worked on the refit paint job wanted to replicate the paneling and details that could be visible on a "real" spaceship. Between that and the Star Wars phenomenon, Trek really had no choice but to "up their game" visually.
I may appear unoccupied to you, but at the molecular level, I'm really quite busy.